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Fatty foods = cocaine addiction?

April 14, 2010
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Have you ever found yourself uncontrollably eating a bag of potato chips? cheetos? chocolate chip cookies? cupcakes topped with icing? Yum…so good right? Well, in fact, a group of research scientists in Florida recently confirmed that fattening foods can cause cocaine-like addiction. The study performed on rats showed that high-fat and high-calorie foods affect the brain in a very similar way as cocaine. After a period of time of consuming fatty foods, the rats developed eating disorders and other compulsive eating behaviors that resembled drug addiction. In the long run, eating fatty foods will overload and damage the pleasure centers of the brain, forcing the brain to crave for more of these fatty foods. It is a vicious cycle .

It is interesting to see how food can act very similar to drugs – “we make our food very similar to cocaine now” says Dr. Gene-Jack Wang. Today, many food companies out there in the market are ruining our health, to be honest. Food labels could be inaccurate or misleading as many additives are often masked as “natural flavors”. What strikes me the most is that no where in the article did anyone suggest anything about decreasing the consumption of junk foods or offering a solution. The obesity crisis  is one of the most challenging problems with no doubt, and in order to help solve the epidemic, the nation needs to take a more active role in addressing this issue.

So next time when I am craving for junk food again, especially Hershey chocolate (my fav!), I better control myself … so that I don’t eat like a drug abuser.

For those who are interested in learning more about the study, here’s the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/28/fatty.foods.brain/index.html

~Tammie

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